If your or another member of your household suffers from asthma, you know how devastating it can be. It isn’t just that breathing becomes more difficult; it can actually become impossible. As such, those dealing with asthma take all possible steps to prevent attacks from occurring. One potential step that you can take? Purchasing the best humidifier for asthma.
- 1 How Humidifiers Help Manage Asthma Symptoms
- 2 What to Consider Before You Buy
- 3 Best Humidifier for Asthma
- 4 Buying Guide
- 5 Keep it Clean: Dirty Humidifiers and Health Problems
- 6 Tips for Keeping Your Humidifier Clean
- 7 Safety Tips for Using a Humidifier
- 8 Can You Use Essential Oils in Your Humidifier?
- 9 Other Tips for Dealing with Asthma
- 10 Final Words
How Humidifiers Help Manage Asthma Symptoms
Asthma attacks can be triggered by many things. Some common triggers include:
- Exposure to allergens
- Breathing in smoke
- Proximity to heavy fragrances
- Too much humidity in the air
- Too little humidity in the air
- Additional respiratory diseases and infections
- Heightened emotions
With the right humidifier, you can better manage all of these triggers within your home. How can a humidifier do this? Let’s take a look at how one might help to reduce each of these triggers.
- Exposure to Allergens: Most humidifiers have filters built into the machine, filtering out some allergens that could cause an asthma attack.
- Breathing in Smoke: While it is best to not allow smoking indoors, even the smell of it on clothing can trigger an attack. If you purchase a humidifier with an air filter, it can reduce or the effects of second-hand and third-hand smoke.
- Proximity to Heavy Fragrances: Just as is the case with smoking, an air purifier and humidifier combo can help to reduce the impact of fragrances on the respiratory system.
- Too Much or Too Little Humidity in the Air: With too much humidity, the air can feel too heavy to breathe, triggering or worsening an attack. With too little, the airways can try out, causing the body to overproduce mucus, which can then trigger or worsen an attack as well.
- Additional Respiratory Diseases and Infections: Some humidifier models are designed to kill germs, making it less likely that you will catch a potentially devastating infection.
- Heightened Emotions: When you feel more comfortable and secure, your emotions tend to be more stable. While a humidifier does not inherently stabilize emotions, the comfort it brings can help.
While owning a humidifier is not a cure to asthma, it does help. And when you suffer from asthma, you take any help you can get. Of course, before you can enjoy the benefits a humidifier can offer you, you need to make sure you are purchasing the right one. So, let’s take a look at what features you might want in your humidifier for asthma.
What to Consider Before You Buy
There are thousands of humidifiers on the market, and they are not all created equal. Some work better than others, some have special features that might interest you, and there are even aesthetics to consider. While there are a multitude of factors that will impact your decision, we are going to look at those that we feel are most important when purchasing a humidifier for asthma.
Who Are You Buying It For?
The first thing you need to think about is who the asthma sufferer in your home is. The best humidifier for baby or or toddler asthma won’t be the same as the best for adult asthma. And you might not even be looking for a humidifier for a person: feline asthma is also quite common and can be managed with the help of a humidifier. How does this impact the humidifier you buy? Well, for children and animals, you want to avoid warm-mist options as they can be a hazard, and for children, you might want a friendly design that makes your little one feel comfortable.
Do You Need Air Purification?
If you are strict about who comes into your home and are diligent in your dusting and vacuuming, this may not be a great concern. However, if you have guests who come over who smoke or wear powerful fragrances, or you struggle to keep up the vacuuming and dusting multiple times a day, you may find that air purification helps. In this case, you will want to look for an air purifier and humidifier combo unit.
Make Sure It Measures Humidity
Or if it doesn’t and you really like that particular model, purchase a hygrometer or indoor air quality monitor separately. Being able to measure humidity is important as you want it to be right around 45%. Lower than 40% can dry the sinuses and throat, triggering an attack. Higher than 50% can make the air heavy, triggering an attack or making an attack worse. Knowledge is power in this situation, so make sure you know the humidity level.
Consider an Option that Fights Germs
Because respiratory infections can be devastating for asthma sufferers, it is a good idea to seek extra protection. If you purchase a germ-fighting humidifier, you increase your chances are keeping illness at bay. While it is not fool-proof, it is helpful, and it also gives you an additional sense of comfort that you are safe in your home.
Know the Space You Want to Humidify
Where are you planning to use the humidifier? Are you wanting to cover a specific room or the whole home? Believe it or not, there are whole-house options, so you might find that is what you want. Or it may just work out better to humidify one room at a time. No matter what you choose, know the square feet of the space and ensure the humidifier you purchase can handle it. In addition to considering square feet, know that you will need to increase the amount of coverage if you have ceilings that are higher than nine feet.
Best Humidifier for Asthma
Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier & Air Purifier
For those asthma patients who are highly prone to attacks, we recommend the Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier & Air Purifier. As it does not use filters or cartridges, it is incredibly clean and highly unlikely to trigger an attack. Of course, that may leave you wondering how it is able to purify the air.
Well, it accomplishes this through a process called air washing. It uses internal disks that spin rapidly and trap impurities. These impurities are then run through water and essentially washed away. The result is air and mist that are both clean and easy to breathe.
This unit is offered in three models: one that humidifies up to 200 square feet, one that can handle up to 400 square feet, and one that can purify and humidify up to 800 square feet. As such, it is easy to find the right option for any given space. You can adjust it to three different speeds, but the manufacturer recommends medium and high settings for the best results. Finally, it comes with a 10-year warranty, so you know this is a product you can trust.
Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Our top choice for asthma sufferers is the Honeywell HCM350W. We feel that it is a good choice for patients of all ages as it is a cool mist humidifier, making it safe around children and pets, as well as comfortable for adults. While it is not an air purifier, it does fight germs, killing 99% of bacteria, molds, and viruses in the room it is humidifying. This helps to reduce the likelihood of your or your family member becoming sick, which in turn reduces the likelihood of a severe asthma attack.
As this humidifier is able to humidify spaces up to 500 square feet, it is well-suited to medium-sized rooms, such as most bedrooms and offices and even smaller living room spaces. However, since it is designed to run very quietly, we particularly recommend it for anywhere noise might be a concern. As such, it is a great choice for bedrooms, nurseries, and home theater spaces.
The tank is fairly large, allowing you to run it for a full day on a single fill. The shape makes it easy to place it in the room and makes it highly unlikely it will accidentally be knocked over. You can control the speed and output and the included hygrometer ensures you know the humidity level at all times. It is covered by a 3-year limited warranty.
PureGuardian 7.2L Output per Day Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
For many, the maintenance of a humidifier can be daunting. With most models, you need to fill and clean them every day. However, this option from PureGuardian gives you a bit more flexibility. Designed to run for up to 100 hours on a single fill, it has stamina that almost no other single-room humidifier can match.
What makes it a truly great choice for asthma treatment is its germ-fighting abilities. It uses UV-C technology to kill the majority of germs it comes into contact with. While it does not purify the air, this still makes a major difference.
If you are looking for an option that allows you to use essential oils, this is the humidifier for you. However, you should exercise caution when selecting your oils as some fragrances can trigger asthma attacks. Be certain to speak with your doctor before taking advantage of this feature. It is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
Innoo Tech Ultrasonic Air Purifier and Humidifier
This model from Innoo Tech is our choice for treating feline asthma. While its features are excellent for use with pretty much anyone suffering from asthma, we feel this model is particularly well-suited to spaces such as living rooms and sunrooms, which happen to be favored by our feline friends. It also has a fun look that makes it a great addition to most spaces.
This model gives you the choice of operating it on cool and warm mist. However, we recommend cool mist in general for those with asthma, and in particular for spaces with pets and children. Not only is cool mist less irritating to the respiratory system, but if the unit is knocked over, it is safer.
In addition to humidifying the air, it also purifies it and uses a HEPA filter to remove contaminants, including pet dander—yet another feature making it great for feline asthma. While you can use essential oils, once again we caution that you check with your doctor or vet before doing so. The machine is backed by an 18-month warranty.
Crane Child’s Humidifier
For babies and toddlers with asthma, you want an effective machine, but you also want one that enhances the design you have given to their room. This humidifier from Crane comes in many different looks, making it easy to match it to the nursery or room and also allowing you to delight your child with the new addition. The tank holds a gallon of water and can run for 24 hours on a single fill.
There is no filter in this humidifier, but it still runs clean. The plastic used in the machine is designed to prevent bacteria growth and the clean control function further eliminates unwanted germs. While this may not be the right humidifier for your child years from now, it is a great option for introducing a humidifier. It comes with a 1-year warranty and a year’s subscription to Parents Magazine.
With so many great humidifiers to choose from it can be hard to choose one that will offer you the most benefits. If you are having a tough time deciding on the best one to get for home then perhaps this quick guide can help you decide;
The Best Humidifier for Children
All of these humidifiers can be great for helping little ones breath easy. We do however recommend the Crane Child’s Humidifier for all kids because it has such a friendly look. This is also one of the best allergy humidifiers for kids since it also filtrates while adding moisture in the air. If your little one does show asthma symptoms then it is best to invest in the Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier because this one will serve your childs medical needs much better.
The Best Humidifiers for Asthma
The Venta Airwasher is an ideal humdifier for those with serious asthma symptoms. The warm mist this one produce is cleaner and it does a better job at controling humidity levels. The Honeywell HCM350W is also a great investment since it has filtration and if you hate keeping your humidifiers full, you should consider PureGuardian with its 7.2l water tank that will last up to 24 hours.
The Best for Large Rooms
The Venta AIrwasher is the best for large rooms because you can buy it in a larger model. The largest model is suitable for up to 800 square meter rooms
The Humidifier That Produces The Cleanest Air
Those who live in environments with lots of pollen and dust can consider the Venta AIrwasher since air is purified through air washing technology. This technology eliminates microbes and dust in the air. It is one of the best humidifiers for allergies and it sure is a good investment for people with asthma.
The Honeywell, on the other hand, is one of the best cool mist humidifiers to buy but you can also consider the PureGuardian humidifier since both of these do have air filtration.
Keep it Clean: Dirty Humidifiers and Health Problems
While adding a humidifier to your home can help to relieve health problems, if you do not properly care for your humidifier, it can end up causing more problems than it cures. When you think about this, it makes a lot of sense: breathing in dirty air is bad. If you have asthma, breathing in dirty air is even worse.
What problems can be caused by dirty humidifiers? The possibilities are wide-ranging. Bacteria that become airborne can cause respiratory infections and the flu. Allergens that saturate the air can trigger allergy attacks. Dust can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation. Mold can cause flu-like symptoms and also trigger inflammation. And all of these things can cause or worsen asthma attacks.
This means that if you are purchasing the best humidifier for asthma for your home, you need to do your part by keeping it clean. Some signs that your humidifier is dirty include scum on any part of the tank or the water surface, crusty deposits or scale, and white dust. However, your goal should be to never let it get that far, which means you need to clean your humidifier regularly.
Tips for Keeping Your Humidifier Clean
If you have never owned a humidifier, you might be uncertain about how to care for it. In general, you should follow the instructions in your user manual. However, if you have lost it or want more a more detailed guide for cleaning, we are happy to help. Just keep in mind that if our guide contradicts the instructions that came with the machine, you should opt to go with the instructions created by the manufacturer over ours.
- Change the water in the tank every day. If you have a humidifier that is designed to run for several days, you can skip this. However, if you are currently suffering from an asthma flare up, it is better to go ahead and change it more often.
- Clean the tank every three days, or more often if you are currently experiencing a flareup. Be very careful if you use chemical cleansers; you must thoroughly rinse them out to avoid inhaling them when you use the humidifier again. You can use vinegar and water mixtures to avoid the possibility of breathing in chemicals.
- Use distilled water even if the machine says you do not need to. This will prevent the creation of white dust, which can cause you to breathe in minerals.
- Change the filters or clean them regularly if your machine has them.
- When you are not using the machine, clean it well and dry it thoroughly before storing it away.
Safety Tips for Using a Humidifier
Humidifiers are fairly simple machines and there is little danger in using them. However, you should always exercise caution. To use your humidifier safely, we recommend the following:
- Place your humidifier so it aims the steam away from walls and furniture. This helps to prevent mold from developing or water damage from occurring.
- If you are using warm mist or steam vaporizers, keep them away from high-traffic areas where it is more likely that they will be knocked over.
- Do not use warm mist or steam vaporizers in areas with children or pets.
- Make certain the humidifier you buy is designed for the amount of space you are humidifying. If you use a machine that can handle a larger space, you may saturate the room and cause damage.
- If you notice water beading up on windows, damp walls, or damp floors, check your hygrometer. If it is showing the humidity levels are ideal, it is a sign the hygrometer is broke and you should stop using the humidifier until you can purchase a new hygrometer.
Can You Use Essential Oils in Your Humidifier?
Lots of people love to use essential oils in humidifiers to fragrance their homes or so they can enjoy some of the benefits that these oils has to offer. But adding these oils to air humidifiers might not be the best decisions. You may think that you have a humidifier allergy but it could very well be the oil that you are using. The humidifier will release volatile organic compounds from essential oils into the air. These compounds can worsen asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack if the essential oils you use interferes with your asthma medications.
You should be especially wary of essential oils with strong fragrances. If you are using a humidifier with oils and you notice asthma symptoms, you should discontinue adding these oils immediately.
Other Tips for Dealing with Asthma
If you have asthma, you should work with a doctor to form a treatment plan that helps you manage your illness. This plan may include medication, therapies, and other ways you can deal with asthma. To help, we have come up with a few tips that might make things easier on you. However, before you implement any of them, be sure to check with your doctor that they are safe for you.
- Know your triggers and reduce them.
- Ask that visitors to your home avoid smoking before arriving or wearing fragrances.
- Use a humidifier and an air purifier.
- Keep your medication nearby.
- Take medication as directed by your doctor, making sure never to miss a dose.
- Have an action plan in place in case of an attack.
- Look into a personal humidifier you can use at your desk.
- Speak with management about duct cleaning and/or air purification.
- Use a mask when you need to be around your asthma triggers.
- Look into stress reduction techniques as stress can trigger asthma.
There are many humidifiers on the market that are great for asthma. However, the best humidifier for asthma for your home depends on a variety of factors. With our guide in mind, we know you can find the machine that is best for you.
And if you are looking for other good humidifiers such as the best humidifier for your guitar or the best oils for humidifiers then we welcome you to hop over to some of our other buying guides where we compare other good quality humidifiers and products.
Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!